The Pleasure Factor

April 7, 2015

Food is really interesting.  We need it to nourish us, we need it for energy, we need it to repair, we need it to survive.  It’s a social act to be shared with friends and family, and it can be one of life’s greatest pleasures.


Speaking of pleasure, I want you to take a minute and think of the top 3 most pleasurable things in your life right now.  Do you have them?


Many people can’t come up with 3 and that’s really sad!  Not because they don’t have anything good in their lives but because they don’t think about them in terms of how much pleasure they bring.


This is important and is very much related to your relationship with food. You see, if you are not recognizing the pleasures in your life, you can get into the habit of making food your primary source of pleasure which leads to overeating and regretful eating.  You are essentially asking your food to create happiness for you.


Here are the typical scenarios:


  1. Work is really stressful and you haven’t had time to do anything in the past two weeks besides sleep and work and at the end of these long days you reward yourself with a tasty treat or two.
  2. You think that your life will be totally complete once you find that perfect partner.  The thought of being alone any longer makes you really sad and so you comfort yourself with rich foods and delectable desserts.
  3. You just had your third child and it seems like there is no time to breathe.  You feel like you are a slave to the house and kids and the only thing that gives you peace is that piece of chocolate cake.


You think that these actions are all rewards for putting up with hard or sad or lonely situations, but what you are really doing is trying to bring more pleasure into your life.  I know that if you have ever had a scenario like any of these and you give yourself that reward, it doesn’t actually make you feel better about anything.  Often times, you feel worse and regretful.


So here is what you do.  Take the time every day to recognize something that brings you pleasure.  Maybe it’s wearing those new red pumps, making sure you get in that morning workout, or just taking 5 minutes to close your eyes and relax.  Doing it is half the battle but actually recognizing that it is a happy place for you is so much more important.  You should also do a happy dance after you have recognized the pleasurable thing about your day.

Once you are aware that you have much more pleasure in your life than you actually thought you had, you won’t need to rely on food as much to fill that gap in your life and you can start to break that emotional bond with your food.